Monday, April 25, 2011

EPA Rules Force Shell to Abandon Oil Drilling Plans in Alaska

I'm so glad that the environmental groups are happy. I'm sure they will be very happy when gas hits the $6 range this summer. And if you want to blame the big oil companies for the problem, don't look at the raw dollars they are making, look at the income percentage and the investment required and compare that to other industries. Then look at your pension fund, 401k or IRA and see if you own big oil. Yes, Obama and the liberals who demonize big oil for political advantage, are really throwing stones at your financial future.

Because of Obama's policies and the EPA, development of new oil fields has come to a grinding halt. The Alaskan pipeline is at 30% capacity and in danger of being shut down. The energy policy of Obama and the Democrats is pure insanity.

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.

“EPA has demonstrated that they’re not competent to handle the process,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. “So if they’re not competent to handle it, they need to get out of the way.”

Murkowski supported budget amendments that would have stripped the EPA of its oversight role in Arctic offshore drilling. The Interior Department issues air permits to oil companies working in the Gulf of Mexico

Read full FOX News report here.

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